You may have heard…Facebook is a pretty darn great place to work. So why did I leave my cushy office job to become an independent marketing consultant? Because while Facebook provides business marketing tools to everyone, they can only directly serve approximately 0.5% of the top ad spenders. Who do the small businesses and brands call when they need help?

I am super passionate about helping small businesses and brands because I believe they can have the greatest impact on communities. Let me show you why with a personal story.

When I landed my dream job at Facebook in 2014, I was living amongst my community in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. But after several months, the commute down to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park started to weigh heavily on my motivation, and I was faced with a choice: find a new job in the city, or move closer to work.

The Castro district in San Francisco. Photo by  Max Templeton  on  Unsplash

The Castro district in San Francisco. Photo by Max Templeton on Unsplash

Cut to 2017: walking down the street hand-in-hand with my husband in our quaint new home town of Palo Alto, we pass a young family. The toddler stares up at us with confusion and points. The mother, embarrassed, quickly kneels to the ground and starts whispering to her son. Teaching moments like this are common; most young children in the suburbs have never seen a gay couple before.

I begin to accept that I will never feel truly welcome in Palo Alto as long as I feel disconnected from the gay community. And then I realize; there must be other LGBT people here, like me, who feel disconnected. My husband and I agree that what is missing is a dedicated space where we could meet other LGBT people and be ourselves without judgment…AKA a gay bar.

Eager to see if there would be community support, we created a Facebook Page and posted a video describing our mission. Within a week, we had over 25,000 views, and hundreds of shares and engagements. Our dream had taken on a life of its own. Suddenly, we had local news organizations asking to write articles about our initiative, and elected officials asking how they could help…all because I posted a video on Facebook and got people excited about our mission.

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Every consumer-facing business addresses the needs of a community in some way. Social media is all about connecting with those communities by sharing your brand story with the people that will support you. I’m less interested in meaningless metrics like how many followers you have. I care about driving real business results. Let me show you how to tell your brand story through marketing and targeted advertising, and watch your business, and your dream, grow.